ReWalk Robotics (NSDQ:RWLK) said today it won reimbursement coverage through a commercial health insurance plan which made changes to include powered exoskeletons for ambulation in patients with lower limb disabilities.
ReWalk develops and produces exoskeletons designed to restore self-initiated walking for patients with spinal cord injuries. The personal system is battery-powered and features an array of sensors and motors that detect the wearer’s movement and assist in standing up, sitting down and upright walking.
Though the Marlborough, Mass.-based company did not say which insurance company made the shift, but said that the determination was based on a review of the “most up-to-date clinical literature on powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in patients with spinal cord injuries.”
“We are proud to provide a ReWalk exoskeleton in this historic, first comprehensive coverage policy by a commercial insurance provider. The creation of comprehensive policies for exoskeleton technologies marks a major turning point for our industry. We expect this decision will not only speed the reimbursement process for members of the plan, but also pave the way for additional private insurers to follow suit,” CEO Larry Jasinski said in a prepared statement.
ReWalk Robotics said its 1st ReWalk 6.0 personal system was recently reimbursed through the new shift in policy. A ReWalk system was delivered to Jackson Larson, a patient who suffered a spinal cord injury in 2010 that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
“I would like to thank my health plan for covering the ReWalk for use in my home and in the community. I know first-hand how much my health and well-being has benefitted from use of the ReWalk system, and I feel that the new policy will allow a large number of users to experience these same benefits,” Larson said in prepared remarks.
Last December, ReWalk Robotics said that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs issued a policy to evaluate, train and procure its personal exoskeleton systems for all qualifying veterans in the U.S.
The policy from the VA will provide vets with spinal cord injuries access to referral and evaluations at ReWalk training centers across the country, the company said. After receiving training, vets who meet the physical criteria will be eligible to obtain a Rewalk personal system.